The Iowa Cubs (45-53) have been slowly digging themselves out of their deep hole, and they have succeed in moving out of the basement slot for the league. They are still in last place in the division, though, and 16 games back of Colorado Springs. It may be a little early to talk Elimination Number (the evil twin of Magic Number), but a combination of 29 Iowa losses or Colorado Springs wins officially eliminates the Cubs altogether.
The situation in the Southern League is as tight as it has been all second half. In the second half standings, first half winner Chattanooga is up by six games over Tennessee (16-12) and six and a half over Montgomery. So long as Chattanooga stays there, they don’t really matter as far as the second playoff slot is concerned. That slot will go to the next best overall record in the division, and in that fight Montgomery and the Smokies are effecitively tied (Montgomery has played two more games, and has one more win and loss than Tennessee). This one is probably going down to the wire.
Myrtle Beach has a playoff slot locked up by virtue of winning the first half, but it would still be nice to see them return to their winning ways in the second half. They are currently 12-16 and and trail Buies Creek by seven and a half. Oddly for this team, the problem has been at home where they are just 6-11 in the second half. Usually the Pelicans are a pretty good home team.
South Bend has been steadily climbing their way back up the standings, and at 14-15 they are now in fourth, seven back of first place West Michigan. West Michigan has already clinched a playoff slot, though, so the two second half slots would currently be Fort Wayne and Bowling Green. The Cubs trail Bowling Green by three and a half games.
With the first half of the season ending today, Eugene (21-16) remains one game behind Hillsboro for first place. Eugene needs a win and a Hillsboro loss today to move into a tie, and I believe the tie goes to Eugene. They had a chance to move into that tie yesterday, but could not make it happen against a great pitching performance.
The Arizona Cubs (7-16) have won exactly two games in the past week and a half, and they are hopelessly out of the division race. Literally. The first half ends in about a week, the Cubs are already eliminated. At least they do not have the worst record in the league; the Indians hold that honor. Hey, it’s all about development at that level, right?
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K
- Matt Carasiti: 1 IP, 1 K
- Jemile Weeks: 1 for 5, HR
- Mark Zagunis: 3 for 4, BB
- Taylor Davis: 2 for 4, 2B
- Chesny Young: 1 for 4, SB
- Ozzie Martinez: 1 for 1, HR
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee was rained out for the zillionth time this season. That’s only an approximate count. It might be closer to two zillion now.
- Michael Rucker: 5 IP, 6 H, 7 K
- Casey Bloomquist: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- David Berg: 2 IP, 2 K
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 4, 2B
- Robert Garcia: 2 for 3
- Carson Sands: 2.2 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 4 BB
- Tyler Peyton: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Isaac Paredes: 1 for 4, 2B
- Chris Pieters: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Alberto Mineo: 2 for 3
- Jesus Camargo: 6 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K
- Ricky Tyler Thomas: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Brendan King: 3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 K
- Rafael Mejia: 1 for 4, HR
- Cam Balego: 2 for 3, 2B
- It seemed to me that I had been typing the name Eddy Martinez a lot lately, so I checked his splits. Turns out that in July (sample size alert) Martinez is hitting .273/.333/.561 with two triples, four homers, and five walks against twelve strikeouts in just over seventy trips to the plate. It is by far his best month of the season.
- Carson Sands has an ugly ERA (23.14), but for him the results are sort of meaningless at this point. He had arm surgery in the spring, and I didn’t really expect him to pitch this season at all. For Sands right now, rehab and shaking off the rust is the main thing. The results will likely return in time.
- Paredes made a rare start at third base last night, and according some fans in the stands, he looked pretty good doing it.